Apple's Desktop Keyboards: Time for Black Keys?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
So as I was pondering getting the Apple wired keyboard to accompany a new MacBook Pro and Apple 24" LED display, it dawned on me that the keys on their desktop keyboard are white. The only computer their desktop keyboard really matches now is the Mac Mini (silver with white accents). It doesn't even match the iMac it's been bundled with for a year! And with the black glossy frame of their new display, it only makes sense that the keyboard share the same accents. Right?



What are the odds the keyboards get revamped later this month when the iMac and Mac Mini get their rumored refresh?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    I agree they don't fit in with the rest of the line, except the mini, but then where does the black go on the new mini?



    or is this a hint? the mini will stay the same size, but because its in black will LOOK smaller



    I'm not sure I'd like the keyboard with black keys TBH.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    So as I was pondering getting the Apple wired keyboard to accompany a new MacBook Pro and Apple 24" LED display, it dawned on me that the keys on their desktop keyboard are white. The only computer their desktop keyboard really matches now is the Mac Mini (silver with white accents). It doesn't even match the iMac it's been bundled with for a year! And with the black glossy frame of their new display, it only makes sense that the keyboard share the same accents. Right?



    What are the odds the keyboards get revamped later this month when the iMac and Mac Mini get their rumored refresh?



    I just bought one and love it - but a back-lit black-keyed aluminum keyboard would make for a great update (at least to the wired, powered one)
  • Reply 3 of 14
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    I get you, but does it really bother you that much?
  • Reply 4 of 14
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    White letters on black keyboards are too hard to read in dim light. The keyboards that shipped with the iMac and PowerMac G3s through G5s had such keys. The only way around that would be to have backlighting, and that eats too much power for cordless keyboards, which Apple seems to love nowadays.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    I'd really like to see them, and with backlighting on the wired ones.



    But I agree with Kolchak that black with white is harder to read in the dark - so, wireless might not work so great in black.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    The only way around that would be to have backlighting, and that eats too much power for cordless keyboards, which Apple seems to love nowadays.



    Don't bet on it. The backlight used in the MacBook Pro is doubtless L.E.D. based and if used in the wireless keyboard would probably consume very little power relative to the wireless connection.



    I still think Apple should make a backlit wireless keyboard with built-in trackpad and a battery-recharging dock.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    White letters on black keyboards are too hard to read in dim light. The keyboards that shipped with the iMac and PowerMac G3s through G5s had such keys. The only way around that would be to have backlighting, and that eats too much power for cordless keyboards, which Apple seems to love nowadays.



    Are black letters on white keys really any easier to read?



    Apple doesn't update their keyboards and mice that often, I don't really expect an update for at least a year. Especially one that adds a physical feature like backlighting.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Don't bet on it. The backlight used in the MacBook Pro is doubtless L.E.D. based and if used in the wireless keyboard would probably consume very little power relative to the wireless connection.



    I still think Apple should make a backlit wireless keyboard with built-in trackpad and a battery-recharging dock.



    It seems like it would have USB ports (or Firewire har har) and a built-in iPod battery: that way it could be wireless or wired, and the battery would charge when plugged into the laptop.



    I would pay some extra green for a keyboard that had hours and hours of battery life and that flexibility.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Don't bet on it. The backlight used in the MacBook Pro is doubtless L.E.D. based and if used in the wireless keyboard would probably consume very little power relative to the wireless connection.



    I still think Apple should make a backlit wireless keyboard with built-in trackpad and a battery-recharging dock.



    As an example of what I'm talking about (minus illumination), see the Logitech DiNovo Edge, which I'm very pleased to see now has a specific Mac edition. It's still very pricey though and I'm sure Apple could do a classier job for the same or less money if they tried.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Are black letters on white keys really any easier to read?



    Yes, they are. Just like black lettering on a light background is easier to read on-screen.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    Yes, they are. Just like black lettering on a light background is easier to read on-screen.



    I'm skeptical, because the contrast is exactly the same either way.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I'm skeptical, because the contrast is exactly the same either way.



    In theory it's true. Your eyes can more easily and quickly discern thin black lines on white, as opposed to thin white lines on black. The black sort of consumes the white, so your eyes take a moment to separate the two.



    In practice though, I don't recall having much trouble reading my Apple desktop keyboards in the late 90's and early 00's when they used black keys with white lettering, but then again how much do people really need to look at their keyboards to type? I'd prefer the keyboard be consistent with their portables, as well as matching the iMac its been bundled with for a year.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I'm skeptical, because the contrast is exactly the same either way.



    It's not a matter of contrast, but of total brightness. Read a webpage with a black background for a few minutes. Your pupils will dilate because of the lack of light and you will experience afterimages from the white lettering. With a light background, the pupils contract and your retinas are not overloaded with spots of light. As a bonus, anybody who does serious photography can tell you that a smaller aperture provides more depth of field and easier focus. Contracted pupil = smaller aperture.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    but then again how much do people really need to look at their keyboards to type?



    For me I do not look at the keyboard to type but for my wife who types with 2 fingers it is a big deal. Black letters on white is much easier to see and use. Personally I also prefer the black letters on white.
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